The Washington Times - October 8, 2008, 03:02PM

Came across the annual Sporting News list of sports towns. And if you’re not Burlington, N.C., you’re in luck. You’re not in dead last this year.

I have nothing against Burlington. It was a Steak and Shake, which is a big plus. Of course, I had a gasket blow just outside of town on my way to the 2001 ACC women’s basketball tournament, so there are some bad memories there, too.

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Beyond Burlington – on the list because of its minor-league team – it’s worth thinking about where a few other cities land.

Like College Park, which is No. 77. The next 10 include Tuscaloosa, Ala., State College, Pa., and South Bend, Ind., which sort of makes you wonder just what the criteria is.

Technically, it’s “based on point values assigned to various categories, including but not limited to won-lost records, postseason appearances, applicable power ratings, number of teams and attendance.” Which means a good field hockey team is just as likely to be the difference as just how cool the town itself is.

Anyway, here’s the full rundown of the 12, er, 10 cities in the ACC:

1. Boston
19. Atlanta
22. Miami
24. Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill, N.C.
57. Blacksburg, Va.
62. Clemson, S.C.
77. College Park
88. Charlottesville, Va.
94. Winston-Salem, N.C.
100. Tallahassee, Fla.

College Park, by the way, checks in above 17 of the 65 other BCS conference (plus Notre Dame) schools.

The lowest ranked cities from the other BCS conferences were No. 97 Oxford, Miss. (Ole Miss, SEC); No. 99 Corvallis, Ore. (Oregon State, Pac-10); No. 105 Syracuse, N.Y. (Syracuse, Big East); No. 109 Iowa City (Iowa, Big Ten); and No. 117 Ames, Iowa (Iowa State, Big 12).

Patrick Stevens